Released April 25, 2023
The annual Mega 1000 — the fifth section of the Real Estate Almanac — ranks the largest residential real estate brokerages by their full-year 2022 stats.
Residential real estate brokerages are an essential element in the industry: they provide the legal mechanism for the buying and selling of homes, support agents with company structure and training and collaborate with local competitors to ensure the real estate market remains as healthy and fluid as possible. Brokerages offer administrative, operational, marketing, technology, legal and branding and training services to real estate agents who hang their license with them. Agents typically interact directly with consumers who usually recognize brokerages as a corporate or umbrella brand on shopfronts, for sale signs, websites, and legal contracts.
A residential real estate brokerage is a company – usually an incorporated firm, a limited liability firm or a sole proprietorship – licensed to sell real estate in the US. As defined in the Real Estate Almanac, a brokerage company’s numbers include subsidiaries in which the company owns a controlling stake of more than 50 percent of the company.
For example, the nation’s third largest brokerage, HomeServices of America, owns and operates approximately two dozen regional or local brands, such as Edina Realty, Long and Foster Real Estate, Houlihan Lawrence and Ebby Halliday Realtors. The annual sales volumes of those brokerages, and others within the HomeServices of America stable, roll up to HomeServices of America because it owns more than 50 percent of each of those brokerages. Anywhere Advisors has a similar situation; it owns numerous regional Coldwell Banker-branded companies as well as some companies under other brands such as Corcoran Group. Some brokerages stand alone or operate under a single entity or brand such as Redfin, Compass and eXp Realty.
Other brokerages affiliate with franchise brands. Brokerages not affiliated with a brand are often referred to as independents. Examples of large franchise brands within the industry include RE/MAX, Keller Williams Realty and Coldwell Banker. Eighty percent of the brokerages in the Mega 1000 are affiliated with a brand and 20 percent operate under their own brand. These non-franchise-affiliated companies have been referred to as “independents.” However, today’s varying structures render the word misleading and often results in incorrect groupings. Many independents also hold membership in a real estate network such as The Realty Alliance or Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.